Color Theory: What to Use

It is important to have a sense of artistic materials when exploring color theory. Below are some of the more efficient and economical tools every artist needs. Simply select one of the red dots to further examine a specific tool.

Choose a material

X-Acto Knife

knife

Precision is crucial when constructing exercises in color theory. If edges are not clean and measurements incorrect, optical illusions won't be as strong or will fail to work altogether.

Gouache

gouache

Gouache is a water-based paint, an opaque watercolor. It is ideal when creating color illusions because it dries quickly and also calls for an intense focus on color mixing.

Rubber Cement

Rubber Cement

Avoid any wrinkling on colored paper with regular glue. Rubber cement gets the job done and helps you avoid the mess.

Palette Knife

Palette Knife

Mixing the pigments in gouache can be tough because of the paint's water-based properties and the gum arabic that can clot the mixture. So, it's important to have a sturdy palette knife to mix things well.

Color-Aid

Color-Aid

Color-Aid provides a large quantity of opaque, colored paper ideal for color theory exercises. A box with 314 colors has more than enough materials for creating great illusions and exploring color relationships.

Synthetic Sable Brush

Brush

Synthetic sable brushes have ridges along their hairs, allowing them to hold more pigment. When dealing with paint that dries quickly, these brushes make it much easier to paint with a tricky medium like gouache.

Materials

Gouache

Gouache is a water-based paint that acts like an opaque watercolor. Though it does take a bit getting used to because of its tendency to clot easily, it is ideal when creating color illusions because of the even tones it can produce with a minimal amount of effort. However, allow yourself practice when using gouache, it can be a frustrating medium to work in, but if applied correctly, works beautifully.

Rubber Cement

Rubber cement should always be used when handling colored paper because of its incredible anti-wrinkle property. Moreover, this glue dries faster and lighter than most other adhesives. When creating quick color theory exercises, use rubber cement to avoid messes and longer drying.

X-Acto Knife

A sharp knife is a must for any craftsman who cherishes clean and precise lines. This knife fits easily in one's hand, weighs almost nothing, and cuts sharply through most craft mediums. It can be found at most hardware stores.

Color-Aid

This packet of 314 different colors includes a wide range of variations among hues, tints and shades. This assortment is perfect for the pupil studying color relationships and comes in handy when training the eye to notice color differentiations.

Synthetic Brushes

When handling water-color and gouache paint, it is best to use synthetic sable brushes because they retain paint pigment more than other brushes because they contain deeper ridges along their hair strands. These brushes can be found for cheap and do the job very well.

Palette Knife

The palette knife is vital for any painter, but is especially useful when handling gouache as this paint can be difficult to mix. Because one must crush pigments into one another in order to mix paint, it's perfect to have this lightweight knife.

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